Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas lit up the Wizards in the first two games of their series to the tune of an average of 43.5 points per game, before scoring just 13 last night Game 3. Thomas has done a lot of his damage by getting to the free throw line, going 25/31 (80.6%), which is actually below his season average of 90.9 percent. However, that’s not the interesting part. As pointed out by the Washington Post’s Scott Allen, Thomas may be committing a lane violation on every free throw that he takes. From Allen’s post:
“Like most shooters, he transfers his weight from his heels to his toes as he releases the ball. Rather than returning his weight to his heels after he follows through, Thomas remains on his toes and often steps into the lane with his left foot before the ball reaches the cylinder.
This is a violation of Rule 9, Section 1-b of the NBA rule book:
The free throw shooter may not step over the plane of the free throw line until the ball touches the basket ring, backboard or the free throw ends.”
As proof of Allen’s claims, multiple tweets with screenshots were included in the post. Here’s just a couple.
Allen’s post is worth a full read as he has multiple quotes from former NBA referee Steve Javie on the lane violation rule and why officials don’t call it often. It seems Wizards fans, and NBA fans in general are closely watching this phenomena as there are a few Reddit threads dedicated to discussion and photos of Thomas’ lane violations.